The Nature And Structuration Of Management Control In Knowledge Intensive Work A Study Of Information Technology Services Work In India

Secki Payyappilly Jose
The recent decades have been characterised by an increasing share of services work, not only in industrial and developed economies, but also in several developing economies. The growth of several forms of knowledge-intensive work have been integral to these transitions. The following study is an examination of the nature of labour processes and management controls within a type of knowledge-intensive work, specifically Information Technology Services or ITS work. The study is based in the city
more » ... f Bengaluru, which is located in the State of Karnataka in the southern part of India, and is host to the largest centre of the IT industry in India. The study is qualitative in nature and relies principally on semi-structured interviews — with ITS workers, managers, trade union representatives and government officials — and combines it with a detailed examination of the extant labour institutions that regulate various aspects of work. The study examines the nature and operationalisation of managerial controls in ITS workby utilising an analytical framework based on Edwards' (1979) conceptualisations of technical and bureaucratic managerial controls. The study analyses the labour process via management controls, but goes further by uncovering and building connections between the managerial controls and labour regulations. The study argues that the selection and nature of managerial control strategies are closely inter-linked and often determined by the scope and extent of local labour institutions. These linkages, between managerial controls and labour legislations, can be found in various aspects related to the management of grievances and separation (resignations and dismissals). Strong contestations also arise between managements and workers over these issues, and the contestations are explored through several examples from the field research data. Overall, the study makes a contribution to a deeper understanding of the basis and form of managerial strategies that seek to extend control over knowledge intensive work.
doi:10.25392/ fatcat:tkwilzyuhjgw3oc4k7um4aldh4